Forbes recognizes U-M President Coleman's push for student entrepreneurs

Michigan's colleges should be helping students hit bottom lines, not just the books. University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman advocates for students to have the tools and mindset to become business owners and job creators, and for institutions of higher learning to accommodate this paradigm shift.


Entrepreneurs on today's college campuses are no longer only huddled together at the business school. They are emerging from the hallways in our music schools and our engineering programs. They are coming forward with fresh ideas in architecture and medicine.

The educational programs designed to draw out these innovative thinkers must be welcoming to all students willing to take a risk on what some might call their "crazy ideas."

The late President Ronald Reagan got it right in 1988 when he told students at Moscow State University, "These entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all of the economic growth in the United States."

If he were making that same point today, Reagan might have to address the students more directly. Instead of discussing "these" entrepreneurs he would need to say "you" entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurism is breaking out all over our college campuses. At the University of Michigan we've learned that many of our students are creating opportunities for themselves even before they get to campus. One survey found that as many as 15% of our incoming freshmen had already started businesses.

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